Transit Carrier Movement

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Transit Carrier Movement

Postby SDTroll on Fri 11 Mar 2022 07:22

I'm confused by the rule E9.02.1 about Transit Carrier movement. According to the rule: "Transit carriers recalculate their speed and TM by adding one-half of the carried units' HS to its own HS, then use [E5.03.0]."

By my reading, this means all transit carriers would be at least -1 speed and +1 TM, even when empty.
If a CA transit carrier (60 HS) was carrying nothing, by table [E5.03.0] its HS would be 100% of its own HS, thus a reduction of speed and increase of TM. I'm assuming that it was supposed to be you compared one-half of the carried HS to the carriers HS, similar to a tug, but it doesn't read that way.

Even if you ignore the rule if the TC is empty, I'm still not sure it makes sense:

As written: CA (60 HS) is carrying 4 DDs (30 HS each). 1/2 carried unit HS: 60 + TC HS 60 = 120 HS; 200 % of CA HS, So a reduction of -2 speed and increase of +2 TM. Is that how it is supposed to work?

As a tug: CA is carrying 4 DDs, which count as 60 HS, so 100% of carrier HS or a reduction of -1 speed and +1 TM.

Which is the correct way to figure it?

Just for efficiency, if it works like a tug, can it also carry extra engines like a tug to increase its effective HS for carrying purposes?
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Re: Transit Carrier Movement

Postby krenshala on Fri 11 Mar 2022 15:31

The way Table E5.03.3 reads, for a 60 HS transit carrier, it uses normal movement when carrying up to 30 HS of ships (50% or less), and -1 Speed and +1 Turn Mode for carrying 30.01 to 60 HS. This is because a Tractor Chain (what Table E5.03.3 is normally used for) is calculated as "the size of the units being 'pulled'", and not "the size of all units in the chain". In the case of a Transit Carrier, the "towed size" would be the units being carried instead of the HS of units getting pulled by the tractoring unit.
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Re: Transit Carrier Movement

Postby SDTroll on Tue 22 Mar 2022 06:03

krenshala wrote:The way Table E5.03.3 reads, for a 60 HS transit carrier, it uses normal movement when carrying up to 30 HS of ships (50% or less), and -1 Speed and +1 Turn Mode for carrying 30.01 to 60 HS. This is because a Tractor Chain (what Table E5.03.3 is normally used for) is calculated as "the size of the units being 'pulled'", and not "the size of all units in the chain". In the case of a Transit Carrier, the "towed size" would be the units being carried instead of the HS of units getting pulled by the tractoring unit.


That is how I feel it should work, but it isn't really how E9.02.1 reads. That's why I was a little confused. It specifically says to add half the carried HS to the carriers HS, not to compare the two.

Assuming it is just oddly written, can a transit carrier have extra engines like a tug to allow it to move faster while carrying ships?
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Re: Transit Carrier Movement

Postby Cralis on Thu 24 Mar 2022 02:47

You are correct SDTroll. Transit Racks (@) in SSF do not work the same way that they did in 3rd edition.

E9.02.1 is pretty clear: the transit carrier adds 1/2 of the carried unit's HS to its own to determined the "towed size" equivalent for E5.03.3 ... what is missing from that rule is that E5.03.3 is only used when the transit carrier has parasites, it does not use it when it's not carrying any parasites.

It is intended that a transit carrier with parasites will always be slower than without parasites. This is a limitation of the fact that the transit carrier can carry non-WP capable units through a WP; something that you cannot do with tractor beams.

The speed of the transit carrier when full doesn't matter a whole lot when it's just carrying units through a WP, especially in non-combat situations. Where it hurts is when using them for something like carrying units through a dangerous system, such as freighters (that lack MNE) through an emission nebula system so they don't take any damage, but that's a pretty rare circumstance.
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Re: Transit Carrier Movement

Postby SDTroll on Tue 12 Apr 2022 05:15

Would it be possible to build a transit carrier with extra engines, like a tug, to give it a higher effective HS for purposes of speed?

This all started because I was messing around with an insect race that would have big ships carrying little ships carrying small craft. :) Not really feasable I guess, but a funny idea.
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Re: Transit Carrier Movement

Postby Cralis on Tue 12 Apr 2022 23:19

SDTroll wrote:Would it be possible to build a transit carrier with extra engines, like a tug, to give it a higher effective HS for purposes of speed?


It would work the same way that it does for tractors, since it uses the same chart. E8.02.1 should state that when using the table, the TC is considered the "primary ship" (we are making this more clear in the rules update we are working on)

This all started because I was messing around with an insect race that would have big ships carrying little ships carrying small craft. :) Not really feasable I guess, but a funny idea.


Transit Carriers were really designed for two purposes (though there are some additional uses that came up later...):

At low SL, they are useful to carry LEL drive ships through WPs and to release on the other side. Place a TC at your WPs and they can act like a "WP relay" for ships without the ability to transit on their own.

At higher SL, they are intended to carry a load of ships through using Wj and drop them at random exit points a distance away from the WP it just transited through. Sure you can just put Wj on all of your ships, but that eats up value space that could be used for weapons and defenses. Using a TC allows you to take advantage of Wj without needing to build it on every ship.
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Re: Transit Carrier Movement

Postby SDTroll on Mon 25 Apr 2022 15:45

Cralis wrote:
Transit Carriers were really designed for two purposes (though there are some additional uses that came up later...):

At low SL, they are useful to carry LEL drive ships through WPs and to release on the other side. Place a TC at your WPs and they can act like a "WP relay" for ships without the ability to transit on their own.

At higher SL, they are intended to carry a load of ships through using Wj and drop them at random exit points a distance away from the WP it just transited through. Sure you can just put Wj on all of your ships, but that eats up value space that could be used for weapons and defenses. Using a TC allows you to take advantage of Wj without needing to build it on every ship.


Both sound like real, practical uses. I was just playing around with an interesting role-playing idea. I had done something similar with a race that had cloned subraces that piloted their main small combat craft while the big command ships had a single member of the primary race. Because of the value the put on their own lives and the total lack of value they put on the cloned races, it was considered extremely bad form to attack the command ship and risk the lives of the primary race, but if the command ship actually attacked, it forfeited its protected status. This just seemed even more interesting, if the TC carried the main race and was unarmed. :)
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